This one is a bit of a do it yourself mason bee house experiment. I’m going 100% DIY this year after seeing my store-bought houses disintegrate over the winter while last year’s milk carton-based creations look as good as new (and will only require a quick wipe-down with dilute bleach solution before I reuse them this year). Last week I posted a few examples of the house styles I was playing around with, and since then I’m up to 20 individual bee homes of various shapes and sizes.
This post is about an experiment for this year. I went looking for chicken wire this afternoon to fashion a guard at the entrance of each house and was unable to find any at all. It seems toilet paper isn’t the only item sold-out in these days of coronavirus stockpiling, though I struggle to think what the chicken wire is for. When I got home I realized that several of my native bee homes use beer cans for the main housing, with the tops cut off. Given a beer can has a small (too small for most birds to pass through) hole, I thought maybe they could be reattached to the base once the various tubes were packed in, creating a bee home protected from both rain, birds and squirrels alike.
I give you, the Mason Bee(r) House TM
I’m sure there are some issues with this approach… like moisture entering as mist with no easy way to exit given the can walls aren’t permeable… or maybe excessive heating depending where it’s placed, and I’d love to hear them, but I’m definitely going to give these a shot.
I would sell plans laid out in exhaustive detail, but as you’ll see in the photo there was little in the way of planning, and the details are the furthest thing from exhaustive.